Critical Thinking In College

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Critical thinking is an important skill in academics and life. It is difficult because it requires an active mind, and as a result there are many natural mental barriers to utilizing it. A time when critical thinking was challenging for me was when I was debating the necessity of going to college with a close friend. This was in sophomore year when we were beginning to seriously contemplate our future lives after high school. In this debate, I took the side that college was necessary in order to be successful in life; my friend believed there were other paths one could take and still achieve the same level of success through other avenues like trade schools or apprenticeships. From my point of view at the time, the opposition’s belief was ridiculous.…show more content…
Starting in fifth grade, we are told that college is the ultimate path to success. Going to college would lead us to a good job, high earnings, and success in life. In middle and high school, the walls were plastered with posters and signs like “WHY GO TO COLLEGE?’ or “COLLEGE = SUCCESS” and many college memorabilia. Our counselors were the biggest crusaders for students heading to college: they often urged us to go to college, to take AP classes, and to take the SAT. Part of being able to critically think is having “flexibility or open-mindedness, which is an attitude marked with the willingness to consider new options, try things a new way, and reconsider old problems” (Verlinden, 2005, p. 22). When you have been forced onto a specific path your entire life and have been told that it is the only way, it becomes very difficult to think of any other alternative. It also prevents “willingness to self-correct, or learn from errors instead of becoming defensive about them” (Verlinden, 2005, p. 22). I cannot spot any errors in my decisions, such as going to any random college or taking out expensive loans in order to pay for it, when I have been told to just do it because it will somehow work out in the end since a college degree will pay for itself.
In the article, “My Halloween email led to a campus firestorm — and a troubling lesson about self-censorship”,
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If they knew how to critically think, they may have approached the situation differently. The video “The Triggering: Has Political Correctness Gone Too Far?” also features protests from students in the form of heckling throughout the event. The heckling also shows a lack of open-mindness; shouting random phrases is disruptive and instead of listening to their opponents, they try to shut them down. They also refuse to self-correct and continue to disrupt the talk despite the obvious reality that the talk was going to continue on regardless of what they did or
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